Research Viewer Software Release

In a need to publish our own research documents in a repository fashion rather than as a time-based weblog we developed our own viewing platform. We are happy to announce the release of v0.0.1 of the Hybrid Research Viewer.

This viewer is a research prototype developed by the Hybrid Publishing Group.

View our publications https://research.consortium.io or the code and manual https://github.com/consortium/hybrid-publishing-research

The Hybrid Research Viewer allows you to work on and publicize HTML based documents in a unique way. All documents are stored in a Git repository (ours on GitHub) to mimic a software development model for publications. We take common software development workflows that have matured over years and adapt these to a modern publication output. We aren't bothered, right now, about web based text editors. We rely on HTML as a common denominator and a text editor like sublime, textmate or the newly introduced atom.io. We have chosen a (late) entry point in the publication lifecycle (omitting things like word processors, proofreading workflows etc). This keeps things flowing while avoiding having to solve all hybrid publishing problems at once. Editing local HTML is not special, but adding a solid validation suite which checks metadata and content on its validity against good standards like W3C and Dublin Core as part of the writing and publishing helps us focus on the concept of a 'universal document' as a template for academic publications. We need to structure content in a clean way so computational process for our proposed single-source-multiple-outputs approach will work in a broader context. This means create one ‘master’ file in HTML and transforming the document to any output, format, device or channel. We have several output targets like EPUB and PDF on the roadmap. They will be adopted as the development moves further down the road. The Hybrid Research Viewer is not about reinventing the wheel but rather trying to find the right open source tools and standards to reconnect everything in a sane way, where collaborative workflows that have already been practiced for decades in software development can be adopted by scholars and publishers.

The document repository and software comes in an ‘offline’ package to serve your documents on your laptop for yourself as a reading environment or in a Wifi Network in a classroom. To aid the author we have tried to keep ‘developing’ new documents as simple as possible.

This viewer has an integrated web server, document validation and indexing functionality. We rely on Git for collaborative work. You can pick up a copy and read our content, git pull to upgrade your local repository to newer content later in time - replace documents just by deleting them out of the folder structure or write new articles and push them to your own server or ask us to host it in our repository. A simple grunt serve, grunt being a framework for computer process job queues, will make the content available in your network.

Beware! The project is still an alpha release and we need to improve viewing logic, restructure resource identification, and validation needs more attention. For this reason we welcome comments, tip, pointers and feedback and of course contributions.

Read and redistribute our publication (Creative Commons CC-BY-DE 3.0 License) or fork the code (MIT License).

Credits: Johannes Amorosa - concept, project lead, lead developer, content validation Loraine Furter - Web design, concept, project lead, developer, content validation Simon Worthington - content validation Christina Kral - content validation.